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The Institute of Physics

The Institute of Physics: promoting physics supporting physicists

The Institute of Physics is the professional body for physicists in the UK and Ireland, with a strong role in promoting innovation within physics and supporting physics-based industry. With more than 34,000 members who work in all sectors of the economy, the Institute occupies a unique position, able to represent and support physics across industry, universities and schools

Physics research is an international process and the free movement of ideas and people are integral to pushing the boundaries of our knowledge. To promote physics and business education internationally, the Institute works with national physical societies and bodies, the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics and the International Association of Physics Students. We have recently been involved with programmes as diverse as a Girls in Science camp in Zanzibar and a workshop on entrepreneurship in Pune, India.

The Institute is also a world leader in physics publishing, producing an extensive range of journals covering all aspects of the discipline, many supported by specialist websites.


The Institute works with businesses, universities, governments and funding bodies to ensure that the UK remains a leader in innovation and scientific research. Through national and regional representatives, the Institute has extensive contacts within university physics departments across the whole of the UK and works to promote knowledge exchange between academia and industry. We are able to use these contacts to connect businesses of all sizes with cutting-edge research at a local or national level, assisting them in making the most of their innovations in bringing new knowledge to the marketplace. We operate more than 50 subject groups and divisions which bring together specialists from many disciplines though meetings and conferences aimed at pushing the limits of scientific research.


Successful innovation and inventive busineses depend on access to a pool of highly trained and skilled workers who are able to thrive in the modern business environment. Physics training produces people who are expert in problem solving and working with abstract concepts, as well as encouraging a keen understanding of the practical aspects of innovation. We work to highlight the contributions that physics graduates make to a wide range of industries and our annual careers fairs and promotional events mean we are the place to come to recruit physics graduates. Additionally, we are the only body able to award the status of Chartered Physicist, an official, internationally recognised mark of professional achievement and professional attitude.


The Institute works both with government and independently to raise the number of people taking physics A-levels, and strives to increase the number of students studying for physics degrees. Through our outreach programmes, such as the award-winning Lab in a Lorry, we bring engaging and exciting physics to school children and the public at large, sparking interest and increasing awareness.


The Institute?s Corporate Affiliates Network is central to our work with innovation and with business. The Network brings together businesses that depend on physics-trained staff and physics knowledge, ranging from the financial and legal sectors to the defence and nuclear power industries.

Through business events and online networks our member companies extend their reach, increase their influence and benefit from being part of a strong and dynamic community. The Institute is also highly proactive in representing the views and interests of physics and physics-based business to government and other agencies, and as part of the dialogue produced through the Network, we work with businesses to help them articulate their skills needs to government.

Through a programme of briefing events we bring physics-based business together with influential figures such as government ministers and senior policy makers to discuss relevant and topical issues. Recent examples have been the role of physics in UK technology strategy, the technologies and opportunities in the field of low-carbon cars and the new science and innovation agenda. To accompany these events, we produce reports and publications emphasising the impact of physics and monitoring the health of physics-based industry in the UK. Additionally, we work closely with the Technology Strategy Board?s Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network, working to emphasise and promote the essential role of physics in innovation.

Physics underpins the innovation economy, and the Institute of Physics works with physicists and businesses that depend on physics to ensure that they are supported and their voices are heard.

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For more information on
The Institute of Physics
and our activities in this area, contact
Dr Robert Kirby-Harris, Chief Executive
Institute of Physics
76 Portland Place, London W1B 1NT, UK
Tel: +44 (0)20 7470 4800
Fax: +44 (0)20 7470 4848

Added the 03 September 2008 in category Innovation UK Vol4-1

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